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French soccer boss says Fifa needs European chief, Platini best option

[PARIS] A European candidate would be best placed to replace Sepp Blatter as head of Fifa, French soccer federation president Noel Le Graet said on Wednesday, adding that UEFA boss Michel Platini was his favourite for the post.

Mr Blatter rocked the world of soccer on Tuesday by unexpectedly announcing he would step down as Fifa president in the wake of a corruption investigation.

"I think that tomorrow ... we need a European candidate because the European governing body is undoubtedly the best organised and the one that best respects the law," Mr Le Graet told i-Tele television.

Mr Le Graet, who last week voted for Mr Blatter in the Fifa presidential election, said all the Europeans believed former France captain Mr Platini was the best candidate.

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"He is the key person in world football today. He's the one who has the most experience, but it's a personal choice."

No sooner had Mr Blatter announced his decision than English Football Association chairman Greg Dyke raised the possibility of re-running the controversial vote that awarded Qatar the tournament.

Mr Le Graet told BFM TV it was unlikely that Russia or Qatar would be stripped of the tournament unless new information surfaced in the bidding processes.

"The (infrastructure) works are underway. There would need to be new scandals for that to change," he said. "It seems to me there will be no changes for 2018 or 2022. I don't think so."